BRIAN BEATTY‘s jokes, poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain, Elephant Journal, The Glasgow Review of Books, The Good Men Project, Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, The Moth, Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, The Quarterly, RHINO, Seventeen, Southern Poetry Review, Sulfur River Review and The Sycamore Review. His writing has also been featured in public art projects and on public radio. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Three excerpts from Brazil, Indiana
He didn’t realize until later the irony
of buying his first Playboy
from a store with a dirt floor
and one dim light bulb on a chain.
Ten-years-old is too young for irony. Even in Brazil, Indiana.
Decades of dust caked the tin-dark windows.
The lady spitting tobacco juice into a cup
next to the cash register told him she wouldn’t bag it,
so the kid snuck the magazine home hidden
up his shirt. He walked alleys all the way.
Rusty staples tore the naked centerfold.
He sure as hell didn’t.
The roof of the church
welcoming Jesus to our town
reached toward the blue-black sky
like an umbrella blown
inside-out, landed in an overflowing
gutter. Soaked, broken parishioners
entered and exited through the back
— single-file with their heads
and their eyes closed.
To this day nobody knows how
folks found their way.
An undertaker in his twenties
moved to town with his wife and
their brand-new baby and silver dog.
They made their family home
in the upstairs of the funeral chapel
where no one had lived in years.
They drove the hearse everywhere
with that dog’s shimmering head stuck out
the front passenger-side window.
We just waved and wished them luck.
It had been a long time since
we felt so ready to die.
If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Brian Beatty Poems
All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com